I found out for myself that the train is not an option and I'm glad that we booked our own private guide and driver. They met us at the port entrance which was less than 100 yds. from the ship.
Xingang is a port in which you either do a ship's excursion or an official Chinese government endorsed tour. If you do things on your own you will need your passport. Many people had problems, even on cruise tours, checking into hotels and exchanging money. An ATM card is a must.
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Can you let me know who you booked the private tour with. I will be going to Xingang 16 april and need a 2 day tour to Beijing and great wall. Any help would be appreciated. We (2 people) will be on HAL Statendam and will be stopping in Shanghai, Dalian, Pusan, Nagasaki and Kobe - so any tips you can give for any of these ports would be greatly appreciated. I was wanting to do the train as I understand there is a lot of traffic from Beijing to Xingang but now that I read your comments I understand that the train is not recommended. Were there a lot of taxi waiting at the port to take people to Beijing.please email me email@example.com
It is about 16km from the Tianjin cruise port to Tanggu train station, the nearest train station near Xingang, about half an hour's drive. From Tanggu to Beijing by train, it takes only 1 hour. But the way from the cruise port to Tanggu train station is awkward.
This cruise port is a new one, Tianjin International Cruise Home Port, far-off from the town down. If you haven't booked a car or taxi in advance, it's very hard to find taxi nearby the cruise terminal, let alone shuttle bus. If you have many luggage, it would be very not convenient, even board the train. So, it's better to arrange the transfer service in advance no matter from the ship or the local travel agent.